Nasscom worried by 'discriminatory action on US visas... not rhetoric'
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has sounded death knell to the H-1B visas by proposing to raise the minimum wage for this most-popular work visa for Indian technology professionals.
"What we have to see on every side is not rhetoric but actions...In this case, the actions which have already been taken, have been discriminatory and are causing injury to the industry and imposing costs," Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar said referring to the US' plan to hike the fees for work visas.
Earlier this year, the Indian government moved the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against the US imposing higher fee for applicants seeking two categories of non-immigrant temporary working visas.
"We believe that the US actions are discriminatory and single out the Indian industry for the impact of those measures...even though the Indian companies were not named as such, it was clear that the entire impact was only and solely on Indian companies," he said.
This was the reason, he said, why the industry sought the Indian government's intervention on the matter, and moved the WTO for remedial action.
"Even as the heat of the elections starts reaching its peak, people are looking beyond that...people are looking at all the logical imperatives namely the shortage of skills in the US and the need for corporate America to remain competitive," he said. Chandrashekhar added that the industry should wait for "this phase to be over" as "it comes up every time there is an election". "Right now, I won't say that there is a major cause for concern...the number of visas has remained what it was, the cap has not changed," he said.
On the government's recent decision to set up a committee to look at easing of policy regime for e-commerce players, the Nasscom chief lauded the move and hoped it will lead to streamlining.
Apart from FDI, there are many regulatory issues like states imposing a special tax on ecommerce transactions, and taking action on them even for irregularities by sellers on platforms, he said.
"These aberrations are required to be look at...these all go against philosophy of digital India. They create roadblocks. All of these policies need continuous scan," Chandrashekhar added. On GST, he flagged outstanding issues such as multiplicity of registration, and internal transactions of companies becoming liable to taxation.
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